Waste in Shanghai: Rising Pressures for the Informal System

China's waste management system is feeling the heat. Over the past few months, scandals from illegal dumping to capacity reaches of major landfills have exposed the complexities of Shanghai’s waste stream –and the challenges that exist in controlling its management. These issues are not unique to Shanghai – they represent broader trends and issues of consumption growth in many of China’s cit…

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China’s Airpocalypse: Why London’s Playbook Won’t Work.

“Beijing’s pollution is bad, but they'll clean their air just like London did …” In 1952, the five-day Great Smog of London killed more than 12,000 people and made over 150,000 people ill. It was an environmental disaster that many people today consider both a cautionary tale and an instructive example of how to address and overcome an air crisis for areas in similar situations – in part because…

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Generosity & Philanthropy in China: It’s About Context

THE QUESTION: IS CHINA GENEROUS? Much of our work here at Collective centers on the business side of "social entrepreneurship" in China – going beyond business as usual to work towards the development of a better world. Yet, we also run into a certain question from the more philanthropic side of that mission: Is China generous? Answering such a loaded question risks overgeneralizing a country…

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Ocean Plastic & China’s Affluence, Markets for Sustainability & Leadership | #AskTheCollective 002

As we wrap up the start of February, we are proud to present Episode 002 of the #AskTheCollective video series. This episode features topics ranging from ocean plastic and the influence of affluence in China, to the link between sustainability and a market-driven economy. Many thanks to askers: Wade Sewell, allaways coffee, and Mario Van Der Meulen. As always, we hope you find these questions a…

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Three of the Top Concerns for Chinese Citizens in 2017

Last week, President Xi Jinping attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Businesses, world leaders, NGOs, and think tanks used the forum to forecast concerns, offer international solutions, and point out emerging global trends. China was often a point of discussion. Chinese Concerns Ipsos, for instance, presented new China-related findings from its 2016 study, “What Worries t…

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Shanghai Waste Scandal: 100 Tons Dumped Illegally

Earlier this week, Shanghai’s municipal government uncovered 100 tons of waste dumped illegally near Chongming Island. Pictures of the scandal garnered serious attention on Weibo and included biohazards, household waste, and plastics in one of Shanghai’s four reservoirs. Investigators from Chongming’s Water Source Management department have found no signs of serious contamination, but they have te…

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Graying Powers: Opportunities in the UK and Chinese Aging Societies

“China has faced the same problem to an even greater degree, on an even greater scale.” — Elderly woman in the U.K. Among numerous global controversies ranging from politics and economics, to climate change and energy, one critical issue has fallen out of view of the public eye, until now: the impact of an imminent, graying population. According to the recently released U.K. autumn statemen…

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Action Over Regulation: The Economics of China’s Recycled Paper & Cardboard

In a prior article in our ongoing series of waste management in China, we pointed out that rebranding waste as a resource can provide an alternative lens when discussing waste. As a valued resource, recycled paper and cardboard in China offer a unique case of how global market mechanisms and government regulation impact the role of waste in society. From foreign imports to sharp spikes in domes…

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JLR Car Sharing Hackathon Revs Up Inspiration and Ideas

This Saturday, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Collective Responsibility hosted a training session for their upcoming student competition in car sharing: “Hacking the Future of Connected Vehicles. The Challenge: Car Sharing and the Future Needs of Users On December 10, six student teams from Tongji, Jiaotong, Zhejiang, the China Academy of Art, and Nanjing University of Science and Technology wi…

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Taking on Takeaway Waste: The Tupperware Challenge

Where does your lunchtime waste go? Unfortunately, ‘landfill’ often answers this question. When consumers like us increasingly rely on plastic-wrapped takeaways to satisfy our lunchtime cravings after a morning's hard work, we contribute to a spreading, damaging plastic waste epidemic – especially here in China. A quick takeaway or delivery is a staple of workday lunches across the world,…

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